The delisting of cannabis as a narcotic substance on Thursday opened the door to the release of more than 4,200 convicts serving sentences for cannabis offenses throughout the country.
People condemned to prison for other crimes were not released, however.
More than 3,000 inmates serving sentences for single marijuana offenses around the country will be freed on Thursday.
The Ministry of Public Health has stated that cannabis would be removed off the list of category 5 drugs as of Thursday, June 9.
A total of 4,200 inmates incarcerated in cannabis cases will be eligible for release, according to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau. Arrest warrants for cannabis usage would be withdrawn and cases still under investigation would be dismissed.
On Thursday, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board will formally remove cannabis off the Category 5 narcotics list, meaning that police will no longer be able to arrest anybody in possession of the drug (ONCB).
Until Thursday, when a Ministry of Public Health notification published in the Royal Gazette on February 9 comes into effect, the ONCB explained to police around the country how cannabis would no longer be regarded an illegal narcotic.
To put it another way, this implies that it will be legal to cultivate, grow, import, export, distribute, use, and own cannabis. As a result, cannabis oil extracts that include higher concentrations of the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), will still be classified as a category 5 substance and be subjected to the same restrictions as other drugs.
‘Police officers may confiscate any items that contain cannabis oil without authorisation or that are not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration before filing charges against wrongdoers,’ an ONCB source said.
Those who possess or produce cannabis for personal use are exempt from arrest by the police.